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Perry always noticed that Prince Albert Williams would disappear into Saundra's office, and Perry wondered what was going on in there. It just didn't seem right. After the two came out, Saundra's demeanor was different.
"She's always been a very friendly person and just smiles, smiles all the time," Perry says. "But every time [Prince Albert Williams] would be present ... she was just strictly business, very serious."
During the early '90s, Prince Albert Williams, who was approaching seventy years of age and had had several heart surgeries, stepped up his sexual demands on Saundra, telling her she should repay him for the backlash he endured from other ministers for promoting her to Mariah Walker.
"You owe me! I bear the marks on my body for it," he would huff in a cloud of bourbon breath, leaning heavily on the cane he always used to get around.
One day, when Prince Albert Williams found Saundra alone in the church, he unzipped his pants and chased her around the church with his limp penis hanging out. "Squeeze my dick!" he panted. Another time, Prince Albert Williams told Saundra to visit him at his house. He needed to meet with her. When she got there, he ordered her to perform sexual acts on him.
"Kiss my dick. Talk fuck to me," he demanded. Once, she complied, grabbing his penis and rubbing it for a few minutes.
Her anger and disgust simmered. One day in 1993, when Prince Albert Williams found Saundra alone in church and growled, "You owe me," she exploded. "I don't owe you a thing!" she shouted, her voice reverberating through the church. "From now on, you're gonna keep your little mouth shut. I don't care what you tell anybody; I'm just not gonna live like this anymore! I'm tired; I'm sick and tired of it. Either I'm out of here or you're gonna leave me alone!"
After that, Prince Albert Williams abruptly stopped grabbing her and demanding sexual favors. But he began threatening her career. "I'm gonna get rid of her," he bragged to other AME ministers. For the next three years, at each annual conference where church leadership would meet, he recommended she be removed from the church. But Bishop Vinton Anderson reappointed her to Mariah Walker each time, apparently remaining unaware of the harassment she faced from Prince Albert Williams. Saundra shied away from involving yet another male church leader in her problems.
In 1995, with Bishop Anderson's permission, Saundra decided to run for city council, challenging incumbent Ronald Finley for a third district at-large seat. Then 35, Saundra ran an energetic campaign with an all-volunteer staff that included members of her congregation at Mariah Walker. They raised barely $2,000 but covered a lot of territory, knocking on hundreds of doors in the district. On election day, Saundra lost by a narrow margin.
Some members of the congregation and family members worried that maybe Saundra was overexerting herself with work, church and a political campaign. Saundra had drifted apart a bit from her brother Lonnie, but when he did see her he was struck by the change in her demeanor and attitude. Once bubbly, she seemed despondent, and she was gaining weight. Sometimes when he saw her, her speech was slurred by antiseizure medication. Although tests found no epilepsy, she periodically suffered stress-related seizures. Lonnie worried a little but figured Saundra would pray and get through whatever was happening to her.
On a chilly Sunday afternoon in 1996, Saundra and some other ministers attended a service at the Allen Chapel AME church in Kansas City. Saundra was standing in the lobby afterward, talking to the Reverend Steven Cousins and a presiding elder, William Bartalette Finney, when Prince Albert Williams came over to them.